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German trains rolling again as storm cleanup begins

October 29, 2017

Storm Herwart has wreaked havoc across parts of central Europe, disrupting public transport, causing floods and uprooting trees. At least six people have been killed and several injured.

Lines of people wait outside a Deutsche Bahn service point at Hamburg's main train station following Storm Herwart
Deutsche Bahn was able to get some trains up and running in northern Germany, but travelers in Hamburg will have to wait a little longerImage: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Zinken

After being halted for hours due to storm damage over the weekend, train services in northern Germany returned to normal again on Monday.

Deutsche Bahn, Germany's national rail service, warned that service will continue to be particularly limited in the city of Hamburg, which was hit especially hard by a storm that also battered the Czech Republic and Poland.

At least three people were killed in the storm in Germany while several others were injured from flying debris and dangerous road conditions.

Thousands of travelers in cities such as Bremen, Hamburg, Berlin, Hanover, Kiel and Dortmund had been left stranded by the damage on Sunday.

A second division football duel between Eintracht Braunschweig and hosts Dynamo Dresden was also delayed for two and a half hours.

Deaths reported

Storm Herwart faded in Germany late Sunday after packing winds of up to 176 kilometers per hour (109 miles per hour) and triggering local flash floods and coastal high-water storm surges.

A 63-year-old camper drowned in flood waters that swamped a van parked overnight Saturday along the Jadebusen River in Lower Saxony state. His brother was rescued by lifeguards but suffered hypothermia.

Two people in the northwestern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania died after their boat capsized on Sunday. A third passenger was still missing on Monday.

Falling trees killed at least three people in the Czech Republic and Poland. The Czech news agency CTK said damage to power lines had left hundreds of thousands of households without electricity.

Storm Herwart struck just weeks after Storm Xavier swept across northern Germany, killing seven people.

Strandbad Sehestedt  Orkantief "Herwart"
A man drowned after flood waters swamped the campground (above) where he and his brother had parked their VW busImage: picture-alliance/dpa/M. Assanimoghaddam

State of emergency

The storm caused a 225-meter (738 foot) long freighter ship to run aground on the German island of Langeoog. Authorities were keeping an eye on the "Glory Amsterdam" for any signs of oil leaks. The ship's 22 crew members were all reported safe. 

The Berlin fire brigade declared a state of emergency early Sunday as the storm roared over the German capital. One person was seriously injured when scaffolding from a construction site fell on him.

The Berlin fire brigade said that it had received 100 emergency phone calls between 4 a.m. (0300 UTC) and 7 a.m.

In Hamburg, the Elbe River breached its banks, causing widespread flooding in the city center. Hamburg's famous fish market was closed as a result of the storm.

Langeoog Frachter  Glory Amsterdam
The freighter ship 'Glory Amsterdam' ran aground near the German island Langeoog due to the stormImage: Havariekommando

Firefighters in the city received 500 calls to deal with emergency situations.

In Oldenswort, 130 kilometers northwest of Hamburg in Germany's northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein, a historic windmill fell victim to the storm.

Windmill Catharina was built in 1786 and was a huge draw among tourists, who could rent rooms inside the historic structure.

The Offenbach-based German Weather Service warned that behind Herwart a colder air mass would bring snow to elevated areas 600 meters or more above sea level.  

amp, rs,ap,ipj/kl (dpa, Reuters, AP)